Lewis Hamilton Gives Update During 'One of the Hardest Weeks' After Contracting COVID-19
Lewis Hamilton is on the mend after experiencing one of his "hardest weeks" in recent memory while battling the coronavirus.
The Formula 1 driver, who just tied Michael Schumacher for the most championships in the history of the sport, revealed on Dec. 1 that he tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain. In an interview with CNN, Hamilton's team at Mercedes confirmed he was experiencing mild symptoms and was self-isolating.
On Tuesday, Hamilton posted a video message to Instagram where he announced his hopes to be in his car for the final race of the season this weekend in Abu Dhabi.
"Hi everyone, I hope you're all well," Hamilton said in the video. "I know I've not been in touch this past week, but it's definitely been one of the hardest weeks that I've had for some time. I've just been focusing on recovering and trying to get back in shape so I can get back in the car and race in the final race in Abu Dhabi."
"I woke up today feeling great and got my first workout in, so I just wanted to send you guys a message of positivity and let you know that I'm okay," the 35-year-old continued. "I want to thank every single one of you for sending the amazing messages and videos."
In his absence, driver George Russell of the Williams team has been behind the wheel of Hamilton's Mercedes.
"I really, really appreciate it and I hope that wherever you are you are staying positive and fighting through whatever it is that you are facing," Hamilton ended his message. "I hope that I can get back in the car soon and, yeah, I'm sending you guys love."
As noted by ESPN, Hamilton will have to test negative for the virus before he'll be allowed to return to his car. This is in accord with rules set by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile, Formula 1's governing body.
"The main part with all of this has always been complying with the respective governments' laws and regulations," said FIA race director Michael Masi, according to the outlet.
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"So it's very much a decision for the Bahraini health authorities to determine if Lewis is fit and complies with their regulations and then further for the Abu Dhabi authorities to determine their criteria," Masi continued. "So it's effectively two government entities that determine entry criteria."
As long as Hamilton tests negative and meets the safety criteria for Bahrain and Abu Dhabi, and complies with further FIA protocols, he will be partly eligible for the race on Sunday. According to ESPN, Hamilton will also have to participate in a qualifying session or one of three practice sessions being held over Friday and Saturday.
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